Watch CBS News

Book: Whitey Bulger Anxious For 'The Big Show' To Begin

BOSTON (CBS) - A new book about Whitey Bulger claims the infamous South Boston gangster is anxious for his trial to begin.

"He is calling it 'the big show' and he says he's looking forward to it," Boston Globe reporter Shelley Murphy told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Tuesday.

Murphy and Globe colleague Kevin Cullen co-wrote "Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice."

Whitey Bulger Mech 4p.indd

Murphy, who has covered organized crime for years with the paper, said the book does not recycle old stories about Bulger, who was captured in Santa Monica, California in June 2011 after more than 16 years on the run.

"I think what's really new here is we get a chance to see what Whitey thinks of himself. We talked to people he has been writing to since his capture and I think it's quite a revelation that he's determined to try to portray himself as this, sort of, noble patriot who gave to military veterans groups. He really wants to try to sort of change the narrative of what we all know about him."

"Up until this point, everybody's told his story for him," Cullen told CBS This Morning.

Whitey Bulger
James "Whitey" Bulger (Photo from U.S. Marshals Service)

"But what he wants more than anything, he wants to refute two points. He says he was never an informant for the FBI and he says he never killed the two women whose murders are among the 19 he's charged with."

Cullen said Bulger knows he's not getting out of prison and can't wait for his trial, which is scheduled to begin in June.

"He didn't go out in a blaze of glory in Santa Monica, so he wants to go in a blaze of glory in the courtroom," Cullen told CBS.

"What's interesting to me is that as he sits in (the) Plymouth jail waiting for his trial, he apparently is writing to a lot of people and I think he is very anxious to, sort of, define himself," Murphy told WBZ.

"I don't think he likes what's been written about him, what's being said about him and he is determined to portray himself as this "good" bad guy."

Bulger, who is now 83, is locked up 23 hours a day at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

"He writes to his friends that he's been doing about 100 push-ups a day in his cell to try to keep fit.  He's certainly mentally very with it, according to his lawyer, and I really hope that he does get to trial, because he says he's determined to take the stand and tell his side of the story.  So whether people believe it or not is another question, but I think it's really important that we hear what he has to say," Murphy said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.